Google Fined $177 Million for Allegedly Blocking Samsung from Using OS Made by Rivals
(Photo : Image from Commons.Wikipedia.com) Google Fined $177 Million for Allegedly Blocking Samsung from Using OS Made by Rivals

Google has just been fined $177 million for allegedly blocking Samsung from being able to use an operating system that was developed by rivals.

The regulator alleged that Google's practices actually stifled innovation when it comes to the development of new operating systems when it comes to smartphones.

South Korea Competition Regulator

According to the story by CNBC, The South Korea competition regulator just recently announced that it will fine Google 207.4 billion won or about $176.9 million USD.

This fine would be for allegedly using its dominant market position when it comes to the whole mobile operating system space to actually stifle competition.

The Korean Fair Trade Commission noted that Google was allegedly using its market position to block certain smartphone makers, not just Samsung, from using operating systems that were developed by rivals.

Yonhap News reported that regulators alleged that Google's practice had stifled innovation in the whole new operating systems department for smartphones.

Contracts with Google

According to report, the tech giant actually required smartphone makers to agree to a certain anti-fragmentation agreement or AFA whenever they sign key contracts with Google. This is over app store licenses as well as early access to the giant's operating system.

That particular agreement prevented certain device makers from installing other modified versions of the popular Android operating system that is known as "Android fortis" on their very own handsets, according to Yonhap.

Meanwhile, Apple reportedly spends around $4.1 million in lobbying expenses in the EU through a barrage of different antitrust investigations. 

Google AFA Agreements

KFTC reportedly asked the tech giant to stop forcing certain companies to sign the AFAs, and even ordered it to take certain correction steps.

A Google spokesperson reportedly argued that Android's very own compatibility program has actually spurred hardware as well as software innovation, and even brought success to other Korean phone makers and developers.

The spokesperson reportedly told CNBC in a statement that the KFTC's main decision released today ignores these particular benefits and will, in turn, undermine the advantages that are enjoyed by customers.

Google now intends to appeal the said KFTC decision, reports noted.

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South Korea's New Law

The fine, however, is reportedly small compared to the tech giant's known quarterly figures.

Just last quarter, Google's parent company, Alphabet, raked in a massive $61.88 billion in revenue itself.

In a separate incident, WhatsApp was slapped with a $267 million fine for its lack of transparency when it comes to data sharing with Facebook.

The decision is now considered the latest setback for the popular tech company in South Korea.

In late August 2021, South Korea's new parliament approved a bill that would reportedly allow app developers to avoid paying huge commissions to major app store operators. This includes Google, and this was done by directing users to pay through alternate platforms.

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Written by Urian B.

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